We are “on-call” for swim lessons and this month, O8 picked up two sessions. The first was today with Miss Barb.
She reviewed her basic strokes (freestyle, back stroke, breast stroke). As we anticipated, freestyle and back stroke were still very strong, but she had a little trouble coordinating the arms, breathing and legs on breast stroke. Next week is her second session, and we will work on that more then with Miss Julie.
We are not on the regular swim lesson calendar this year, but the girls did sign up to be “on call”: basically, whenever there is a lesson opting out at the beginning of the month, the teachers call the on-call list to see if anyone wants to fill in. Some months we may get several lessons in, and others we might get none at all. The girls are both pretty competent swimmers and wanted to use the time we used to spend on lessons doing other activites. This way, we can check in periodically and brush up on strokes or just get some exercise.
This month, Julie had a spot open during the day and we just happened to be free, so O7 took the lesson. S9 had a bit of a cold, anyway, so it worked out fine. O7 reviewed her bubbles and breaths, did some freestyle, swam half the length of the pool with each of the two backstrokes, and reviewed whipkick. Just like riding a bike, once she got in the water it was almost automatic for her.
Today is the last day we will have our regular violin-swim Monday schedule. After today, we have decided to take a break from swim lessons. Both girls feel (and act) very comfortable in the water, and are ready to move on to other pursuits. Also, S8 is giving up violin after the Federation performance next week and focusing on piano instead. It feels like a rather abrupt change, but she has been saying for some time now that she would prefer to play something other than violin. O7 has decided not to take piano at all, but to stick with violin instead. So I am hoping we can gravitate towards an all-music Monday (read: I would just like to drive to Canfield once a week!)
O7 has decided not to do Federation after all. She has developed a serious case of performance phobia. Not just in violin, but in practically every thing we do; she turtles up whenever the attention is on her, and will not even look at anyone. I do not know the best way to handle this, but if music and swimming and even gymnastics – all activities that she loves – are causing her anxiety, then she should probably take a break from all of them until she is ready to continue. We are definitely not doing Federation, though she will continue her lessons with Tina. The relief from that pressure was almost palpable, so I think this is an appropriate way to proceed.
This morning we took our violin lesson a half-hour late as our teacher had a doctor’s appointment. The kids are still working on polishing their Federation pieces. In addition to her two required pieces, S8 also ran through Kashmir (Symphonette music) and worked on Minuet II. She is going to start Minuet III next week. O7 did some work on her fiddle piece. She has a difficult measure that she tends to stumble through. She and Tina played it together several times until she got it straight.
After a fast lunch in the car, we went to swimming. S8 is continuing to work on endurance. O7 had a little difficulty at the end of the lesson. She wasn’t trying very hard and Julie asked her if something was wrong. Somehow, O7 interpreted this as Julie was angry with her and she completely shut down. She ended up getting out of the pool and sitting with me until the hour was over. Not sure what that was all about, but hopefully it was a phase and will be forgotten by next week. Julie was very understanding about it and said she would work with us however we needed to.
This morning we went to our usual violin lesson at Miss Tina’s. O7 worked on her fiddle music, and Tina played harmony with her. Then she suggested that S8 write a harmony part, and they could play it together at fiddle camp.
We dropped O7’s violin off for a small repair, grabbed some lunch, then went to swimming.
At swimming, S8 continued to work on endurance. O7 learned the dolphin kick (and was pretty good at it) in anticipation of mastering butterfly.
Today, all the public/parochial schools in our district were closed due to “excessive wind chill”. They were closed yesterday, too. The temps were around 8-10 degrees F but I guess with the wind it felt like -10F. Or -15F. I don’t think you can really tell the difference, once you’re that cold. And hoo boy, it was cold. Symphonette was canceled for tonight, coincidentally, since the local schools were closed.
We had already made plans to meet my friend, G, at the Salem Community Center today. I almost canceled, but decided to brave the elements and keep our date. The kids have been cooped up for weeks on end due to the winter weather, and a couple hours of gymnastics/swimming a week just ain’t cutting it. We all feel and perform better when we’re physically active. On to Salem we went.
While I did freeze my figurative butt off getting there, it was a great way to spend a wintry day. The pools at the SCC are warmish enough that we hung out for about 3 hours, swimming and playing. A few other kids came and went while we were there, so the girls made friends and played a very long game of Marco Polo. And now we know of a neat place to go when we’ve been stuck indoors and need to burn off some energy.
Today we had our usual violin and swimming lesson day.
In the morning, we went to Tina’s for violin. S8 went first. She showed Tina a song she had written over the week. I didn’t realize she had actually composed a piece! Tina was wonderful and treated her just like she would another adult who had composed something. She played the piece for S8, asked honest questions about things she wasn’t sure of, and offered a few suggestions for notation. It was very collaborative and I was really impressed with the entire exchange.
S8 ran through her federation pieces and then did Minuet II, the most advanced piece she’s working on (she’s still polishing the Minuet I and Andantino pieces in the meanwhile). She needs to work on her A and G scales. Also, she rushes through the tag ending of her fiddle piece and trips over her own fingers. She needs to practice slowly until she masters it technically, and then she can work on increasing her tempo.
O7 went next. She did her required Federation piece and worked on scales. She did not run through her fiddle tune this week but she is pretty comfortable with it.
We went to Peaberry’s for a quick lunch before swimming. S8 wasn’t really keen to go, but I didn’t want fast food and O7 really hoped for more ravioli soup. We ended up seeing Natalie B, another violin student, there. S8 decided it wasn’t such a bad place after all. The girls spent some time checking out Nat’s iPod and a new Littlest Pet Shops app.
At swimming, we enjoyed a longer-than-usual session. One of the girls we used to dance with at BWR came with her sister, who has the lesson before ours. We stayed an extra hour to let the girls have a chance to play. It was great and they really enjoyed their reunion.